Money and drugs…
Recent medical research into MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD has improved understanding of their effects, and may aid progress towards policy reform.
There has been a wave of recent attempts by scientists to fill the gap in knowledge of how certain illicit substances affect the human brain. These trials, of well known and currently illegal drugs, sought to discover any medicinal benefits they may offer for psychiatric conditions. These experiments could serve as the starting point for the medicalisation of these drugs.
Clinical trials into MDMA, commonly referred to as “ecstasy”, have demonstrated significant therapeutic potential. A 2015 US study of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found that, following MDMA-based psychotherapy, 83 per cent of participants no longer met the criteria of having the mental illness.
Data from the 2016 Global Drug Survey (GDS) shows that more people than ever before are using MDMA. As the purity and availability of the drug increases, it is essential that people know how to use it safely.
Last year, almost 1 per cent of people worldwide who used MDMA sought emergency medical treatment. You cannot eliminate the risk of harm, except by not using drugs – but you can reduce the risk by being aware of what you use and how you should use it. To begin with, remember these two major misconceptions around drug use: that better quality drugs are safer to use, and that taking more of a drug makes the experience more fun.
In 1999, an ecstasy pill bought in the UK would contain around 70-100mg of MDMA. For most people who used MDMA, a dose of 80mg provided the pleasurable and sought-after effects – energy, euphoria, and empathy. This was sufficient for many, though some more experienced MDMA users would take another dose or two as their session continued.
For some time I have believed that we, citizens of Western societies, are going through an existential crisis, caused by a growing gap between our material and spiritual existence. Capitalism has primarily fed the former, encouraging competition amongst ourselves for resources and nurturing feelings of inadequacy and insecurity to promote constant consumption and high productivity. Our society has endorsed the pursuit of material happiness and in the process emaciated our spiritual existence, either attempting to drown it in more superficial satisfactions or repressing it through a pharmacologically induced stupor.